Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State University’s 90-year-old campus newspaper could shut down because of a lack of student involvement.
The Technician recently lost its editor-in-chief due to editorial differences.
"Sort of mayhem ensued afterwards,” said Russell Witham, viewpoint editor of The Technician.
With a lack of leadership, Witham said the newspaper has struggled to attract student writers. With fewer people wanting to pursue a career in newspaper journalism, the paper gets thinner with every issue.
"In the past, it was not uncommon to have consistently 10- and 12-page issues. Now we often struggle to put out eight pages,” Witham said.
Commercial newspapers across the country are facing declining revenues and staff layoffs. Many students just don’t feel that newspapers will be around much longer in print form and aren’t interested in volunteering their time, said Kate Shefte, executive sports editor of The Technician.
With a staff half the size it should be to cover a campus the size of N.C. State, about a dozen student writers are doing double duty to keep the paper going. Many editors said they struggle to balance school and work at the paper.
"Last semester, my grades were horrible,” Shefte said.
A university newspaper reports on student government, happenings on campus and sporting events. But with fewer writers, the paper can’t cover university issues and may cease publication.
"If we don't get the tools we need to run a quality student newspaper, there won't be one next semester,” Witham said.
"We don't really have anything to fill our paper with,” Shefte said. "It breaks our hearts to see it in this kind of situation.”
The paper has recently put out its own classified ad, asking for help keeping The Technician in print. The paper is hoping to get at least 15 students to join the staff.